Hello, our plane landed in Richmont. I already have a sister, and my new mother is constantly smiling and holding my hand. I have a new family to meet, a new home, a new language that I have to get used to speaking and understanding, but that will be part of my future.
My name is Diana and I was born in Haskovo in 2018. I am another child in a poor Bulgarian family. I cried hard and even then I realized that something unusual was happening around me. I heard words, crying, hurried footsteps and… ..a deafening silence. When I began to distinguish images, I kept looking with my eyes to find out who my mother was, but the people around me were constantly changing. Everyone smiled at me, but after they fed and changed my clothes, they left and I stayed alone in a crib. My mother had abandoned me either because she was afraid that poverty would deprive me of food, or because she had been told I had microcephaly. Microcephaly sounds scary and very engaging, but in fact my head is smaller than other children. The days, months and my first year passed in silence in one of the rooms of the Home for medical and social care for children in the town of Haskovo. I was very scared then, I constantly heard that I needed constant medical care, and the people who came to adopt me left as soon as they heard about my “terrible” disease – microcephaly. At the age of one year and two months, I made only sounds and still did not walk upright.
Children like me, who grow up in small spaces, often start limping or moving in wheelchairs. My life seemed to be predestined – to be moved from institution to institution, to have no friends and no family. When I disappointed the next parents and they left, I just stopped communicating with strangers, I just heard that I was on a list for international adoption. In the fall of 2019, something happened and new people started coming to the Home for medical and social care for children, talking, arguing and wanting to take me somewhere else. These were people from Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria and Equilibrium. It is very sad that no one wants you, and the opinion of the doctors that I need constant medical care did not give me a chance to be able to go at least to foster parents. I was lucky that Hope and homes for children in partnership with Equilibrium they took me to the social services of “Sun”. Here I started trying to talk, imitating everyone who spoke to me, sang, laughed. I reached out and learned to walk upright. I soon found a foster family because I no longer needed “permanent medical care.” I have no desire to imagine what my fate would have been if HHC-Bulgaria and Equilibrium had not taken me out of the Baby Institution. How many other kids don’t have my chance? Very often those responsible for children’s destinies talk about “Children’s Rights”, but behind the material well-being they forget that children only want to be loved, to feel safe and to have someone to say “I love you”.
Today I have a mother who I liked and loved during our meetings in Bulgaria. I have a sister to play with and she teaches me to speak English. I have dreams and one of them is to return to Bulgaria one day. I really want that when I come back there will be no more Institutions for babies and less and less children to grow up without parents. I hope that the adoptive parents are not afraid of “terrible medical diagnoses”, because every child brings joy, and care is only part of the pleasure of being human.
Thank you for everything and I hope that other children with disabilities in the Home for medical and social care for children will find families.
Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria and Equilibrium, help to assure more children’s smiles!
With much love Diana